Analysts have pointed to the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma that brought havoc to the southern states of Texas and Florida respectively, as well as widespread damage in other states. That's a 0.5% gain for wages, slightly beating the 0.2% forecast.
Manufacturing jobs slipped in September after a burst of hiring in August. One question on that survey asks whether people who normally have jobs were not at work because of bad weather. Whether that lasts remains to be seen, but the revisions for July and August don't signal much optimism. These businesses and agencies represent approximately 623,000 individual worksites, and the CES collects data on employment, hours and earnings of workers on nonfarm payrolls. The private sector gain of 165,000 for August was revised down only 1,000 to 164,000.
Some experts predict the hurricanes that pounded Texas and Florida will actually boost the economy, with businesses reopening as construction companies kick into high gear with rebuilding and fix work. Jonathan Wright, an economist affiliated with the Brookings Institution, estimated that Friday's report would have shown a 67,000 increase in jobs had it not been for the effect of the hurricanes.
The US Labor Department uses separate surveys to capture payrolls data and the unemployment rate.
Where the September employment situation report looked positive was in the 4.2% official unemployment rate. The upshot is that the unemployment rate dipped to 4.2 percent, down from 4.4 percent.
As a result, the nation's labor participation rate - the most critical employment indicator of them all - climbed 0.2 percent to 63.1 percent. In September, employment in restaurants and bars took the most severe hit, falling 105,000 after averaging gains of 24,000 a month for the previous 12 months.More news: Research into Cryo-Electron Microscopy Lands Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Also the number of working age Americans not participating in the labor force shrank by 368,000 to 94.42 million.
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Hurricane Harvey came ashore on the Texas Gulf Coast on Aug. 25, too late to show up in the August jobs reading. The Bureau of Labor Statistics acknowledged that the storms reduced total employment but didn't estimate the size of the effect. No changes were made to either the establishment or household survey estimation procedures for the September figures.
The payroll survey does not include the US Caribbean territory of Puerto Rico, which was devastated last month by Hurricane Maria.